Google Drive is likely one of the best cloud collaboration platforms available, but it falls short in terms of synchronization features, security, and backup alternatives. Also, it’s Google, so you know it’s watching everything you do. For more information, see our entire Google Drive review.
Google Drive is more than just a cloud-based storage and synchronization service with a large amount of free storage. You can also create, edit, save, and collaborate on documents with it. Customers can back up any folder on their computer, while businesses can save space by avoiding duplication of files on local storage. Upgrades to storage are more affordable with paid Google One plans than with many other options. Google Drive is a terrific tool for storing, backing up, creating, and even modifying files, whether you work alone or in a group.
To get the most out of Google Drive and its partner apps, Google Photos, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, there are a few tricks. There’s no denying, though, that this is one of the most enticing cloud services available. It’s also free—unless you need to store more than 15GB of data; see the Google One Pricing section below for additional information on paid options.
You may use Backup & Sync to sync practically any file or folder on your computer, regardless of where it is in your organizational hierarchy. Apple has entered the file-syncing and cloud storage game with iCloud Drive, which also features collaborative online document editing. For free users, Microsoft provides greater productivity tools and sharing options, while Google provides more initial free storage.
Collaboration document types are available in both Box and Dropbox. Box excels at workflow tools, and Dropbox’s App Center is brimming with third-party integrations. Neither, though, can match Google and Microsoft’s integration and diversity of productivity tools.
Google One Pricing
Google One, Google’s new storage service, starts at $1.99 a month for 100GB and goes up to $9.99 for 2TB. The cost of a higher-tier 10TB plan will remain the same at $99.99 per year. Plans with Google One include one-tap access to support professionals and the opportunity to share accounts with up to five family members. Microsoft’s OneDrive, on the other hand, only provides 5GB of free storage. All users get 1GB of free space from Apple, while Apple device owners get 5GB.
Dropbox is one of the more stingy services when it comes to free storage, with only 2GB available. Students with school-managed Apple ID accounts get a free 200GB of storage. Apple allows you to share storage with others.
What Exactly Is Google Drive?
Google Drive and its apps function similarly to Microsoft OneDrive’s online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With any file-syncing provider, you download and install software on all of your PCs, and all of its subfolders sync easily between devices. You may rest assured that after you finish working on a file reception, all of your work will be visible on your workplace computer the next morning. Both Google Drive and OneDrive offer desktop-to-desktop syncing. After converting files to Google’s file format, you can upload and change them online.
If you enable Backup and Sync or File Stream, Google Drive will display as an area.
Google Drive appears just like a local folder. Google Drive also excels at integrating with third-party services.
The Web Interface of Google Drive
- The Web User Interface for Google Drive The online interface for Google Drive has improved over time and is now more user-friendly than ever.
- You begin by going to the main Drive screen, which displays document thumbnails in the middle and a menu of your folders, shared files, photographs, recent, starred, and trash down the left rail.
However, we are impressed that Google Drive’s web interface includes right-clicking context menus (as does OneDrive).
- Many web programs, like Apple’s iCloud Drive web interface, ignore this capability, displaying the browser’s menu instead of the app’s.
- You may drag and drop files from your PC into any open folder in the browser, which is a useful feature.
Backup and Sync
Google Drive allows you to sync any folder on your computer. Other services, such as Box, Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive, maintain synchronized data in a specific folder. The cloud-syncing notion is simplified and clarified with the isolated syncing strategy. Google Drive avoids these problems by keeping different folders for each machine, all of which are accessible from the browser. Backup & Sync from Google synchronizes files and folders from your online Google Drive to your computer.
Some upload attempts resulted in an error notice, however, this was resolved by pressing the Retry All button. When we tried to add the Programs folder from the Windows PC, a notice appeared stating that something had gone wrong. This is most likely due to the folder’s read-only setting, which necessitates admin access. Backup & Sync allows you to exclude files and folders from being downloaded to your local computer’s storage. Exclusively for G Suite users, the File Stream application generates a local-looking folder on your computer where you can view and save your files. The ability to specify files anywhere on the system for backup is not shared by File Stream.
Drive’s Cloud and Mobile Features
- A recent update brought drag-and-drop capabilities to search results, allowing you to drag a file from the results to a left-hand folder.
- Another unique search function is that Drive can scan a photo and analyze it using optical character recognition (OCR) or identify it using artificial intelligence (AI).
On PDFs, OCR also works in Google Drive.
- However, OneDrive now handles all of this as well, utilizing AI to tag photographs and extract text that can be seen in the data box.
- You must open the image in Docs for Google Drive’s OCR to function; with OneDrive, you can see an extracted text from photos in the info panel without doing any additional actions.
- Plenty of free storage space
- Excellent coordination between productivity suites.
- File synchronization from desktop to desktop is included.
- There are numerous third-party integrations.
- Apps that work across several platforms
- Everything is saved locally by the consumer desktop utility.
- Concerns about privacy
Google Drive is a cloud storage and synchronization service that allows users to back up and recover data from their digital devices from any location with an internet connection. Google Drive is really easy to use. It has a tiny and straightforward design, as well as sufficient storage for a variety of file types.
Another benefit is the option to share a folder with others. If you’re a student, 15 GB of free cloud storage is a significant amount of storage. A businessperson or woman must pay the service charge to add additional storage to the same Google account.